BY: MATTHEW PRESLAR
For one more day, there is a minor league team that goes by the name of the Kannapolis Intimidators. For one more day, the team bought by the late Dale Earnhardt will sport his nickname as their own. (Interesting Fact: Dale died at Daytona about six weeks before a game was played as the KANNAPOLIS INTIMIDATORS). For one more day, those two words synonymous with one another actually go together.
Tomorrow starts a new day and a new era. Change is inevitable and it’s time for a fresh start. On my grandmother’s 91st birthday, the Kannapolis minor league baseball team rebrands with a new name they will adopt in conjunction with opening a new stadium for the 2020 season. As always, we are curious to see the logos, uniforms, and even the mascot. We are very hopeful that all these factors could make this our new home ballpark. We love the small town atmosphere Kannapolis has always offered and are optimistic the infrastructure will be in place to make the new ballpark a wonderful BALLPARK ADVENTURE.
No matter the new name or new stadium, however, the Kannapolis Intimidators and Intimidator Stadium will live forever. For all the countless games I’ve attended in all eras of my life, those memories can never be taken from me. The black and red will always MEAN something. The work ethic and ultimate sacrifice of “The Intimidator” means something to the fans and all of Kannapolis. The affiliation with the White Sox like Winston-Salem and Charlotte; its all one large baseball family and I’m proud to be part of that extended family.
Intimidators Stadium has taken a deeper meaning to me in recent weeks. My umpiring association is contracted with Perfect Game baseball and we work the Perfect Game weekend tournaments in the greater Charlotte/Greensboro area. I’ve had the honor of working many games there and will be there again this Friday night. Although the facility is aging I consider myself fortunate to be umpiring on a field where I have paid to watch games countless times. At least to me and at least in that building the Intimidators will live forever.